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Jimmie Vaughan: Do You Get the Blues?

Another noted white boy with the blues is guitarist Jimmie Vaughan. While he’s long been lauded for his simple, economical approach to the instrument, I’ve always felt that his playing, technically speaking, paled in comparison to his younger gun-slinging brother, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. But Jimmie has always exhibited a depth of soul and bluesy authority in his playing, as he does once again on Do You Get the Blues? (Artemis 751091-2; 54:49). The nasty tones and vicious, slashing attack of Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Pee Wee Crayton figure prominently on his third recording as a leader.

Texas blues diva Lou Ann Barton, a former bandmate of Vaughan’s in the Fabulous Thunderbirds, duets with Jimmie on the earthy R&B number “Power of Love” and on Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s signature piece, “In the Middle of the Night,” which unites Vaughan with the Double Trouble rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Jimmie stings and wails on driving roadhouse shuffles like “Robbin’ Me Blind” and “Out of the Shadows,” then delivers some slyly seductive vocals on soulful offerings like the Curtis Mayfield-inspired “Without You” and “Don’t Let the Sun Set.” Elsewhere he distinguishes himself on acoustic slide guitar on “The Deep End” and takes his sweet time telling the story on the instrumental “Slow Dance Blues.” Do You Get the Blues? continues the guitarist’s string of authentic old-school blues and R&B recordings that began with 1994’s Strange Pleasure and carried on with 1998’s Out There.

Originally Published